The Incestuous Payday Behind Transformers

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Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen has already made more than $600 million internationally, and new estimates suggest that the merchandise from the movie should make around the same amount... But who's really making all the money here?

As Michael Bay's second Transformers movie slowly crushes all opposition, the Wall Street Journal notes that projections are for Transformers owner Hasbro to sell 25% more Transformers-related toys than they did during the first movie's boom period, offering up anywhere between $550 million and $595 million (at least) in revenue. Except not all of that money will go into Hasbro's pockets, despite their owning the franchise.

The relationship between Dreamworks/Paramount, Hasbro and Michael Bay is oddly incestuous when it comes to money. Dreamworks/Paramount, of course, have to pay Hasbro a license fee to use the Transformers brand and characters in the first place, but in turn, Hasbro has to give up money on movie-related merchandise; many people have already made a big deal out of Bay's profit-sharing on the Transformers movies - He'll make way more than his $75 million share from the profits of the $708 million-grossing first movie on Fallen - but he also makes an estimated 8% of the profit of every movie-related toy released, as well.


Considering that Bay is heading towards a payday of somewhere in the region of (and this is more than a little conservative) at least $150 million in addition to his actual fee for directing Revenge of The Fallen, two things become clear - Firstly, that Bayhem is an extremely lucrative career, and secondly, that - desire to do something smaller or not - there's almost no way that Bay will be able to refuse the lure of a similar pay day with a third installment.